The family of Rex Bellotti Junior have called a rally for July 23 in Albany where Aboriginal youth Bellotti, then 15 years old, was run over by police driving on the wrong side of the road in March 2009. The family organised the protest to call for a public inquiry into alleged police misconduct and the failure of the state government and the Western Australian police to provide adequate compensation and support for Bellotti and his family. State politicians and legal bodies have left the family to fend for themselves.
An impoverished Indonesian mother, in front of an Australian journalist, lies on a cement floor clutching a photograph of her 16-year-old son who is now in an Australian adult prison and whom she hasn't seen since he was 14. Abject and acute poverty ravages Indonesia, a country where only 10% of the population has a refrigerator, where most people do not have electricity let alone a television, where many people live half lives working in sulphur mines and where most folk will never rise out of the shanty towns and villages they are born to die in.
More than 300 refugee rights protesters descended on Broadmeadows Detention Centre, in Melbourne’s inner north, on July 9. The activists present were determined to have their voices heard, and make it known that ALP immigration minister Chris Bowen has backflipped on his promise to have all children out of detention by July. The centre, which accommodates only asylum seekers under the age of 18, is indeed still open and running. And it doesn’t look like closing its razor wire gates any time soon.
About 100 people rallied in Brisbaen’s King George Square on July 9 as part of an International Day of Action against the Israeli Apartheid wall in the West Bank. Demands of the rally were: Tear down the wall, End the occupation of Palestine, Equal rights for Palestinians, and Right of return for Palestinian refugees! The rally featured a large banner depicting the wall, along with a series of placards describing the impact the wall has on Palestinian communities.
The results of Thailand's July 3 general election are a slap in the face for the dictatorship. They prove without any doubt that most people have rejected the military, the Democrat Party (PP) and the royalist elites. Pheu Thai Party (PTP), the party closely allied to the Red Shirt pro-democracy movement, won a clear majority. The result is all the more remarkable, given the election was held under conditions of severe censorship and intimidation of the Red Shirt democracy movement by the military and the military-installed PP government of Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Martin Ferris, a TD (MP) from Irish republican party Sinn Fein, will address audiences in Australia in late July on the ongoing struggle for Irish reunification and independence. Ferris will address audiences in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney on the topic of “Uniting Ireland”. The tour is part of an international campaign by Sinn Fein to gather support for ending British rule over the six counties in Ireland's north.
Realm of Suppression An exhibition by Didotklasta Harimurti Free Range Gallery 399 Wellington St Perth July 22-26 July Didotklasta Harimurti, an Indonesian social activist, visual artist, theatre director and writer, will hold an exhibition of his drawings at the Free Range Gallery in Perth in July. Titled Realm of Suppression, this will be his first solo exhibition in Australia.
When the multi-award-winning journalist John Pilger needed researchers for his latest film, The War You Don’t See, he turned to David Edwards and David Cromwell. The pair run media-analysing website Media Lens, which turned 10 years old on July 9. Here, they answer some of the “more interesting” questions posed by their readers, plus a couple from Green Left Weekly’s Mat Ward. Why did you start Media Lens?
Protests at Cairo's Tahrir Square and other cities across Egypt on July 8 drew hundreds of thousands back to the streets to "save the revolution". The protests are part of the ongoing struggle to press for democracy in the aftermath of the popular uprising that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak in February. The protests, labelled “Friday of Justice for Revolution Martyrs” by the Facebook group We are all Khaled Said, has also been dubbed “Persistence Friday” in the media.
Robert Meeropol is the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 in an infamous case of US judicial murder as alleged Soviet spies. The government case depended on the perjured evidence of David Greenglass, Ethel Rosenberg’s brother, who saved himself from by lying. Meeropol now directs the Rosenberg Fund for Children, which supports the children of imprisoned US political activists. He posted the statement below on the Rosenberg Fund’s website on June 30. * * *
The message below from Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, MP for Sg Siput, was dictated to Edmund Bon and Mohd Redzuan Yusoff on July 5 at Jinjang police station. --- I would like to thank everyone who is supporting us by their letters, prayers and urgent appeals, etc. The six of us being detained under the emergency ordinance have not broken any laws and our crime is that we are socialists, and we are attempting to put the issues affecting the poorer 60% of Malaysians on the national agenda. For example, issues of hospital privatisation, and decent and minimum wages.
Before they could have a face-to-face meeting with the Australian mining company company Lynas Corporation, a dozen resident activists from Kuantan, Malaysia, took a journey all the way to Sydney to launch a protest outside Lynas headquarters on July 5. Lynas is building a radioactive waste-producing rare earth refinery in their coastal city of 500,000 people. Some 700,000 people live within a 30km radius of the Lynas refinery site.
In the final days of Alan Garcia’s rancid presidency, crimes against the Peruvian people are still being committed. The department of Puno, bordering Bolivia in the country’s south-east, has now been added to a long list of locations where anti-mining protesters have been gunned down by security forces. On June 25, six indigenous activists were reportedly killed and dozens more wounded when Peruvian police opened fire on a 4000-strong crowd occupying the Manco Capac airport in the city of Juliaca.
Dr Jeyakumar Deveraj, a federal member of parliament in Malaysia, was one of 30 activists of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) detained without trial on June 25. The activists were arrested as they were travelling the country campaigning against the repressive and corrupt Barisan Nasional government headed by PM Najib Razak.
A British TV documentary and a United Nations-commissioned report have confirmed long-standing Tamil allegations that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) committed large-scale war crimes in the course of its May 2009 victory over the pro-independence Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) is continuing to build the Bulahdelah bypass, north of Newcastle, despite a community campaign to halt the project. The bypass road was first proposed in 2000. Three main routes were canvassed: one to the west of the town, passing through several flat paddocks; another to the east, cutting through the foot of the Alum mountain; and an option that involved widening the existing road. The safer, more geologically stable and slightly western route was ditched in favour of the mountain route.